Disease Markers

Disease Markers / 2009 / Article

Open Access

Volume 27 |Article ID 104647 | https://doi.org/10.3233/DMA-2009-0661

Lisa B. Signorello, Qiuyin Cai, Robert E. Tarone, Joseph K. McLaughlin, William J. Blot, "Racial Differences in Serum Cotinine Levels of Smokers", Disease Markers, vol. 27, Article ID 104647, 6 pages, 2009. https://doi.org/10.3233/DMA-2009-0661

Racial Differences in Serum Cotinine Levels of Smokers

Received18 Dec 2009
Accepted18 Dec 2009


The purpose of this study was to estimate black/white differences in cotinine levels for current smokers of both sexes, and to explore the potential contribution of mentholated cigarettes to these differences. Sera from 255 current smokers sampled from Southern Community Cohort Study participants (65 black men, 65 black women, 63 white men, 62 white women) were analyzed for cotinine, and linear regression was used to model the effect of race on cotinine level, adjusting for the number of cigarettes smoked within the last 24 hours, use of menthol vs. non-menthol cigarettes, exposure to environmental tobacco smoke, and age. Black smokers smoked fewer cigarettes than white smokers, yet had crude mean cotinine levels nearly as high or higher than white smokers. After multivariate adjustment, cotinine levels were an average of 50 ng/ml higher among black than white women (p=0.008) and non-significantly 12 ng/ml higher among black than white men (p=0.52). We observed no increase in cotinine levels associated with menthol cigarette use. We conclude that differences in cotinine levels among smokers suggest racial variation in exposure to and/or metabolism of tobacco smoke constituents, but our findings do not support a role for menthol preference in this disparity.

Copyright © 2009 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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